NIH Releases Report on Pain Management Research from the HEAL Initiative

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have released an overview of the pain research programs within the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative.

The NIH HEAL Initiative, has consistently aimed to improve the quality of life and reduce pain by supporting the development of new, effective, non-addictive treatments for acute and chronic pain as a key component of addiction prevention. Over the past five years, the NIH HEAL Initiative pain programs have included projects related to: cross-cutting research, such as levering existing and real-time opioid and pain management data and training the next generation of researchers; preclinical and translational research in pain management, such as development and optimization of non-addictive therapies to treat pain; and, clinical research, such as The Back Pain Consortium Research Program (BACPAC) and Integrative management of chronic pain and OUD for whole recovery (IMPOWR).

To date, HEAL-funded studies have advanced several promising pain therapeutic new drugs and devices and have patented novel targets for chronic pain, inflammatory and visceral pain, and migraine.

FDA Approves First Test to Help Identify Elevated Risk of Developing OUD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first test that uses DNA to assess whether certain individuals may have an elevated risk of developing opioid use disorder (OUD).

The new test has sparked serious concerns from various experts, including numerous clinical pharmacists, which are being discussed in public forums, such as LinkedIn. 

In August 2022, the FDA introduced the FDA Overdose Prevention Framework. Through the Framework, the agency has taken steps to address the drug overdose crisis and substance use disorder.

SAMHSA Seeks to Fund Programs Addressing Behavioral Health Challenges in Local Communities

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced notices of funding opportunities for grant programs that address behavioral health challenges in local communities by preventing substance use initiation, reducing the progression of substance use, and addressing other related concerns. Totaling $74.4 million, the grant opportunities include:

Applications deadlines for these grants range from February to March 2024.
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